When Mental Illness Enters the Family

FEB. 23, 2015

Ask anyone who has a family member who lives with mental illness, and they’ll tell you it isn’t always what someone would consider smooth sailing.When a family is presented with this category of illness, they may feel like they’ve entered an alien world. With a physical illness, it’s often easy to at least obtain information through a doctor, if not through support groups or other organizations, and there’s less shame in discussing it. Mental health conditions, on the other hand, still have an air of secrecy about them. 

Both individuals and family members are given the onerous burden of confronting something that even the medical community doesn’t fully understand. Families are often left with little knowledge of where to go or who to turn to. Fortunately, Dr. Lloyd Sederer is aware of this, and he will tell you: you’re not alone. 

In January, Dr. Seder gave a TEDx Talk in Albany, NY titled “When Mental Illness Enters a Family”, which included a shout-out to the NAMI Family-to-Family program. He provides listeners with four main steps to cope with the effects of mental illness:

  • Don’t go it alone
  • Don’t get into fights
  • Learn how the system works, learn the rules—and bend them
  • Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint

Dr. Sederer is no mere psychiatrist moonlighting as a tourist guide. He is the medical director of the New York State Office of Mental Health—i.e., chief psychiatrist for the nation’s largest state mental health organization and former medical director and executive vice president of Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. He is also the mental health editor and columnist for The Huffington Post.

In 2014, Sederer spoke at the NAMI National Convention and is the author of The Family Guide to Mental Health Care, a terrific resource for families trying to understand what their loved one is going through. He uses humor and plain language and doesn’t pull punches. Families who navigate the world of mental illness will need to “set aside their confusion, sadness and anger—suspending any feeling of despair—about what’s happening in order to get on with what needs to be done.”

For more information on how you can care for a loved one with a mental health condition, join NAMI and Health Central’s Twitter Chat on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. Participate by using the hashtag #HealthTipsChat.


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SEP, 28, 2016 03:41:25 PM
my 22 year old daughter has been diagnosed as bi-polar. i am certain she is schizophrenic but has not received that diagnosis. she is deteriorating fast. she abuses alcohol and drugs on a daily basis. i don't know how to help her anymore. she has been taken to the city psychological emergency center more then once. each time she is brought in she is released the following morning. she was arrested for super extreme dui in august. her blood alcohol content was .251. she won't help herself. i went as far as to having her committed. she was released the following day. i don't know what to do anymore. i don't think she will live much longer

MAY, 26, 2016 12:44:22 PM
none at this time

MAY, 09, 2016 02:14:14 PM
I believe that my father might be suffering from a mental illness. He denies that anything is wrong. He hasn't had a job in over 2 years. He feels that we are or were at one point against him, because someone told him. I love him and I genuinely believe that he loves us as well but I also know that these thoughts that he has are very real to him. I don't know what to do. He wont get any help at all.

JAN, 11, 2016 11:15:53 AM
Nell Rose
Thanks for this it makes me feel better. My brother is driving me mad too. For the last eight years every single day he says he is ill, now its a 'Bad heart'. He has called the doc at least 10 times, gone in hospital and nothing wrong! In fact he is more healthy than thousands of people. But its his mental state. He won't leave me alone. I let him stay with me, he is fine, then he goes home and boom! Two seconds later 'I am dying!!!' I have to call an ambulance etc! its time I backed off and let him get on with it, its too tiring, he won't get help, thinks its me being a ***** and so on.

SEP, 21, 2015 11:14:05 PM
I have depression, anxiety, and NVLD which is part if the Autism Spectrum. I have lost two siblings to suicide. My mother lost her mother, an aunt and an uncle to suicide. I have a significant history of self-harm and suicide attempts as well.
Because we all are affected by the mental health diagnosis, we also all deal with the stigma surrounding mental illness.
I'm just tired of the media, particularly the news media, promoting and reinforcing the stigma surrounding mental illness! I think the national news media promotes and reinforces the stigma on purpose. We turn to the national news media - The Today Show, GMA, Fox News, Anderson Cooper, Nancy Grace, even The Doctors and Dr. Phil- after a mass shooting or a celebrity (or someone related to a celebrity) dies by suicide. Think about the national news media after Robin Williams died. Shepherd Smith of Fox News called Robin Williams a coward just hours after the news broke! It was the next day (or two days later) that it was revealed that Robin had been diagnosed with Parkinson's, but actually had LBD.
After the Sandy Hook shooting, the media suggested that people on the Autism Spectrum are likely to commit a mass shooting, but that is wrong! Not one national news show mentioned Mental Illness Awareness Month in May, not one show mentioned Suicide Prevention Month, yet the Today Show made a big deal about National Tattoo Day, which just disgusted me. (Not because I have a problem with tattoos, but because they didn't acknowledge National Suicide Prevention Month or World Suicide Prevention Day! )
Does it bother anyone else that we speak so candidly about erectile dysfunction, yet the only time "mental illness" is mentioned is after a mass shooting? It also bothers me that there is just a whole lot of finger pointing after mass shootings, and NOTHING has been done.
I'm not denying the connection between mass shootings and mental illness. But it would be nice if the media made it clear that, of the 75 MILLION people who have a mental illness, only 5-7% are likely to commit gun violence. In other words, not every criminal has a diagnosed mental illness, and not every person who has a diagnosed mental illness is violent! There are 300 different types of mental illness!
Trump negated all the work and progress made to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide with his, "This isn't a gun problem, it's a mental illness problem" crap. When will they realize that BOTH issues have to be addressed? I'm not suggesting all guns be confiscated, or that we "punish" law abiding gun owners (no one is!), but the FACT is that the laws, as they are written now, are not effective at keeping guns out of the hands of violent people such as drug dealers, people who have a violent history (abuse, animal cruelty etc), or gang members. A person who is in the middle of their first episode of psychosis can buy guns legally if he hasn't been involuntarily committed. All I'm saying is that the laws need to be addressed to make them more effective, which really wouldn't affect responsible gun owners. The most common method of suicide is by gun; about 50% of suicides are by gun. Part of the reason is, that out of all the methods, gun is the most likely to be successful.
I'm not trying to anger anyone, no t am I trying to start a debate. My statements really are not anti-gun. Just pro-addressing BOTH gun laws and mental health care.
But I digress. The media misrepresents mental illness all the time, and I'm tired of it! I'm not a monster. I'm not weak. I'm not going to "snap out of my depression". I'm tired of words such as "crazy," "wacko," "nut case." Those words, in my opinion, are equal to "*****" for homosexuals, the "n-word" for black people, and "retard" for people with intellectual disabilities.
Thank you for letting me vent a little.

JUL, 02, 2015 02:06:51 AM
Denise Johnson
I found so many of the comments so reassuring. I now know I am not alone. And there are plently others who are behaving the way my son does

JUN, 19, 2015 11:45:44 AM
Guadalupe Sanchez, often antidepressants may be detrimental to people with bipolar disorder because they rev them up when they are manic, although they may appear helpful when they are depressed. But if they become really revved up when they are manic, they may become suicidal.

APR, 10, 2015 05:14:31 PM
Guadalupe Sanchez
My comment to Carol about hospitalization of her daughter for the upteenth time...My son was hospitalized too...It is gut wrenching....especially following the ambulance to the hospital...and being all alone ...Just hold her hand ...tell her you love her to the moon and back...Love is a very powerful thing...it moves mountains...have faith...that is all we can do to battle this terrible illness...My son was angry and tore down my nativity scene...he was angry at God...I took everything down...but that did not stop me from celebrating Easter...business as usual...had my baskets of food and candy blessed and left it out on the kitchen table for the taking..Decorated for Easter (,minus the crucifix)...He was happy ...ate ham...ate the bread......ate the candy...he did not have to eat at the table with us but he ate...

APR, 10, 2015 05:08:04 PM
Guadalupe Sanchez
I would like to know how anti depressants can trigger a bi polar condition..(Jeanne Cecil comment earlier today) .It is interesting how this makes sense that my son (24 yrs) has been on anti depressants for 7 yrs and is showing signs of bi polarization...Although the bi polar is hereditary...i would like the research on this topic..

APR, 09, 2015 07:12:33 AM
Jeannie Cecil
I have a special interest in bipolar disorder. I have suffered from this condition for nearly 20 years now. My bipolar condition was triggered by a negative reaction to anti-depressants.

APR, 09, 2015 07:10:16 AM
Jeannie Cecil
I don't know anything about mental health parity, and I look forward to learning more about it and how it might affect me.

APR, 09, 2015 07:08:45 AM
Jeannie Cecil
I am printing off this information to share with my husband. He intimately knows what it is like to live with a spouse with bipolar disorder, but he does not really understand the condition.

MAR, 25, 2015 08:51:24 AM
Guadalupe Sanchez
Its awful..Here we go again..my son was just arrested with a DUI and speeding,,He is now hit the valley again..So what does he do..he goes to friends that fuel the fire. He gets angrier without realizing that he is in the wrong. Does not want to hear a morality speech. But the talking and texting never stops from me..Sometimes no words are necessary..just a mere presence ..silent presence means alot..He senses it ...knows i am there..If i talk in low tones ..his tone will lower...he doesn t want to hear about prayer...God...authority......I just keep silent letting him vent....and he hears himself...but i am there like a wall..and then i answer back yes or no...simple responses...Then i ask him what is it that hurts ..why so much pain...what does he want ?? when he says i don t know...then i rspond then why the anger...losen those tight fists...
He gets angry...He is angry at his psychiatrist...I am too...no blood work ever done...He ws taken to the hospital the other day with chest pains and flu like symtoms. so what does the emergency physican do...prescribe a pain killer...narcotic...we went to the pharmacy for the nausea medicine but i refused to fill the narcotic..YA think this doctor had half a brain to issue this prescription...even the pharmacist agreed that it is an epidemic. He is just a folder or a case study..I took him out to breakfast...talked to him...quieted him down..Let him talk it out and throw it out there so he could listen to himself. He needs to keep busy..mind needs activity...He could not handle college...it was too stressful...He is waiting on a labor job. I need to show him to embrace the virtues of life...patience ...prudence...but somehow the hard knocks he runs into seem to do ths the hard way...i hate to see him end up in prison...He said his friends told him ..he needs to be commited....he has been in the hospital 6 times since the age of 17...Like many hospital patients...they are ignored...food plate left for them to eat...whethr they eat it or not....cold hospital rooms...escorted like cattle and then talked to in a group session and back to their room...it might as well be a prison...

MAR, 24, 2015 11:51:21 AM
Hi, I live with a mentally ill father. I'm in college now and it has been hard for my family and I. My father has been diagnosed with a low case of schizophrenia/paranoid issues a couples months back. He is now suffering from major anxiety/panic attacks. It is very hard to live with my father he is not the same person I knew before. I pray everyday that he will become better as time goes on. I'm learning about mental illnesses and how they could affect the family. It's a daily battle for my mom to handle. I commute everyday to college so I live with my family and it is very hard to focus. All the people who are reading this please do not loose hope because you are not alone.

MAR, 18, 2015 06:57:52 PM
Guadalupe Sanchez
Just recently i noticed parents with unruly toddlers..They seemed desperate in trying to control the little one..I remember those days with my son(now 24)..If i knew then what i know now..Looking back as a newborn...he could not keep anything down...it would regurgitate...even formula...He was always nauseous...growing up...it may have been the anxiety that seems to run in the family..i tried sports...swimming...music lessons..nothing seemed to keep him focused...Music helped a little...He thrives being in a band...he tried acting...and that seemed to level his emotions....

to this day he will not eat healthy...i have a younger son and he is totally the opposite...he is very quiet though and does display some form of OCD. He goes to college and is very intelligent...Both are. Although we speak Spanish at home ..they are fluent ...writing..reading..speaking in German...
It s the environment that makes them nervous...My oldest is the one that has a mental illness.. He has been on Meds since age 17....he has a substance abuse problem too...maybe being on the meds contributed to it...I mentioned in my last blog that my parents were immigrants from Mexico and my father was bi polar ..but he was stressed out too..holding 2 jobs...and several side jobs to put all of this kids thru parochial schools and college...My mom was a stay at home mom...She relied alot on holistic medicine...This is 1960-1970's....They did not have money for a psychiatrist...meds...counselor...My middle brother was bi polar too...

My husbands family also has some form of bi polar problems but the family of 12 seemed to cope with alot of laughter and joking around....everything is not taken too seriously....I've learned that elf since my background there was always domestic violence...I am now in a choir and that is soo therapeutic...i shop less..I try to joke around with my sons....even send them smiley text messages...I will never understand mental illness...i don t think anyone can...not even the most trained....schooled...and experienced professionals...If we can figure out how the human body....operates with out being battery operated or pluggled in then we may have the answer to the cure for cancer and mental illness.

MAR, 15, 2015 12:53:32 PM
Chere Medack
I have a mentally ill son, that is 28 years old, our government doesn't care about the mentally ill. They would rather put people in prison, create bigger prisons and provide more jobs for prison employees than provide medical care and hospitalization for the mentally ill. The sad part is majority of law enforcement officials, jail and prison employees don't understand mental illness. The prisons then make money off the families by marking up items in the commissary to sell to their incarcerated family members. The Washington official in 2010 that signed a bill that stated people in mental hospitals should be moved to prisons that were not proven guilty for crimes is a disgrace to all the families that have family members that suffer from mental illness. All I can say is shame on you for promoting a bill like that. I hope and pray our government realizes it is the tax payers that are paying their salaries and retirement benefits.

MAR, 12, 2015 06:34:33 PM
Jan Payne
How do I contact or have this person contact me: (Daniel Hammock)
Daniel Hammock said...
My son's mental illness became apparent to our family that "something" was wrong in December 2000, while he was attending college at Sam Houston State University, Tx. With help from NAMI, my wife and I have a better understanding of his illness, etc... Nevertheless, after fifteen years of fighting the fight, we are beaten down; physically, mentally and financially depleted. Now at retirement age we still have a schizophrenic son in our home 24/7 with little hope for his recovery or even a meaningful retirement life for my wife and I. Since his illness was diagnosed while in college, as an adult his benefits (if you can call it that) are based on HIS earnings record (not mine). He continues to be extremely resistant to treatment or accept responsibility for anything. It is disheartening and utterly frustrating for all involved that there is not a reasonable, meaningful path forward. Words are cheap, mental health officials and clergymen always defer to mental health avenues that go NOWHERE for a long term solution. Face it, the biggest hurdle is resources including money and it doesn't help that our son is still in denial. We live in fear that we are doomed to become a "Breaking News" headline. Need I say more?
2/27/2015 3:07:43 PM -

MAR, 12, 2015 03:17:48 PM
Celeste Garcia
Hello, I am a Clinical psychology student at NDNU conducting a study for thesis project: Do you have a loved one with mental illness?

Do you have a loved one (a friend, relative, partner) with mental health issues for example depression, anxiety, bipolar, autism, eating disorder, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, Neurocognitive disorders, schizophrenia, substance abuse? Do you provide time, energy, attention or support for a loved one suffering from mental illness? Participants needed for survey concerning these issues. Must be 18 years of age or older.

Participation is completely voluntary and confidential.
The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

If you meet the criteria and are interested in participating in this study please click on the link below and the follow the instructions:


MAR, 11, 2015 07:03:33 PM
Guadalupe Sanchez
It s horrible and painful to see your loved one hospitalized and then controlled with straps....my son was hospitalized 5 times since he was 17....he doesn t want to go back...it is lonely...cold and he feels abandoned...He is 24 now...has battled with alcohol and drugs....and while on meds....I tell him and text him everyday that i love him and altough he does not want me around ....i will not stop sending him these messages....He thinks he knows it all...has meltdowns when thing don t go his way....i then call in the professional...(well at least try) or his close friends to get on his case....
I just keep pestering him that i will always love him till the day i die and he does not know how to respond to that...so something clicks everytime i say or text him with those messages... even at
2-3 AM in the morning.

MAR, 11, 2015 06:50:19 PM
Guadalupe Sanchez
Not only does my son have a mental illness...it is hereditary....My father suffered....he was an alcoholic...i remember as a little girl...plates flying off the dinner table because of his outbursts....My brother who is now 54 was the same way....He was violent...I don t know how my mother did it...They were immigrants with no money...much less to pay for a psychiatrist...My son has the opportunity ....i don t know if it is even an opportunity ....to seek professional help....he is 24 and every day is a struggle...Me welll...i have my addictions...shopping...to cope....but that hurts everone too......My brother almost became a priest...not...now he has a steady career....i guess my mom kept us together...i cannot explain it...i wish i knew....

MAR, 11, 2015 06:39:52 PM
Guadalupe Sanchez
it is frustrating...i wish my son was never on meds. He was diagnosed as early as 4 yrs old with ADHD..the ending session was with a psychiatrist ready to write the script for Ritalin...i said no..up until he was 17 yrs old..he struggled with his emotional being. until he was sent away to a camp to deal with his depression and end up in a alternative school where the mentally ill and the juvenile delinquents are educated..When he was 4yrs old and he was enrolled in Special Ed we went on a field trip where an amusement park was closed for the special needs kids and adults went..He looked at me and said Mommy...am I like them ???.. I did not know how to rspond other than I love you very much... baby...its that these are special people and they have a right to be happy and live
life...He nver forgot that... Yes he has had meltdowns....i have talked to him while lyeing on the floor with him...stayed by his bedside telling him that i will nver leave him....that i wil always love him...He is 24 now...yes he still on meds...yes he selfs medicates...and i tell him that i cannot control what he does....i do control his meds because i made it understood with the pharmacist....doctor and counselor that he WILL overdose to ease the darkness that sometimes creeps in.....He will not seek spiritual help...which i belive is important.....I told him i didn t care what denomnation he picked....(raised as a Catholic)..but he needed to know that its important ...of course he didnt care..Part of the $60,000 camp that i spent on him ...was an outline to help his condition ....and one of the elements was spiritual healing....He still doesn t get it ...so i get into these deep discussions with his relationships with his friends and those that became his enemies and filter out what may have gone wrong....he is not stupid...He sometimes thinks he hears things...i ask him what and why and how...if it is dangerous...i reach out to as many that are close to him to talk to himl...Yes it is exhausting and Yes it takes a village....but i cannot depend on the doctor who sees thousands of patients and all my son is a folder to him....or his counsel;or who is the same....i depend on family,,and friends that can create a comfortable world for him...The firemen and cops have been to my house....This illness is so hard to understand...its intangible..can t see it so how can you treat it.....other than with another unintangible thing....Its a long heavy journey....but you have to keep loving them and letting them know that even if you feel like punching the walls...

MAR, 08, 2015 11:41:36 AM
Bindu Chawla
I attended a Nami session was useless --just told to tolerate the denial not take it seriously and beyond that there was no solution how to get my daughter to take the meds . I t did not help me two years later we are at the same spot my daughter hates the whole family doesn't listen to taking meds and I have to take all from her . I have lost a daughter and can't reach her -/what help was Nami ?? Nothing don't recommend to anyone.

MAR, 06, 2015 08:29:45 PM
Catherine Reydel
Hi, my name is Cathy and my sister Kelly has been diagnosed with Bi Polar. I would like to go to Family to Family. I live in Brooklyn NY. Any advice.

MAR, 02, 2015 07:42:05 PM
Linda McCreary
Excellent presentation. I highly recommend the Family to Family Training Course.

MAR, 02, 2015 03:39:56 PM
This is an amazing presentation from Dr. Lloyd Sederer. Indeed it is a daily goal to support someone that you love.

MAR, 02, 2015 12:36:07 PM
Alison C.
Grateful that education, support groups and these conversations are continuing to gain exposure to the general population! It doesn't matter how much a clinician may "know" about mental illness, s/he cannot fully appreciate what the Individual/family or Significant Other experiences. This acknowledgement, along with NAMI's Provider Education, would go far in assisting Providers who interact with those Individuals, Families and Significant Others. I'm a "Triple Winner" -- an Individual, Parent, and Healthcare Provider and NAMI's programs have definitely enriched my live on every level.

MAR, 02, 2015 11:15:53 AM
Christine Nelson
I live and care for my 34 yr old mentally ill son. Two yrs ago his health had deteriorated to the point that I made the decision to care for him. I developed Fibromyalgia and am also disabled (5yrs) so the decision was made more easily. He refuses to go to any housing or outpatient programs. Unfortunately, he has the right. I work very hard to separate my life somewhat and not become co-dependent. My place in life is to provide him with a structured, safe and somewhat enjoyable environment for as long as I can.

MAR, 02, 2015 12:51:34 AM
Seriously Minnie you are recommending not using medication. If I didn't have medication I would not be here. Everyone talks about how difficult it is to live with someone who has mental illness. How about we flip the coin and talk about how hard it is for those of us with mental illness to live with our families. I have a huge target on my forehead that everyone points to and says it's all her fault. Please flip it and stop making it about me and talk about how family doesn't help or doesn't want to because it is so easy to say it is all my fault.

MAR, 01, 2015 08:30:44 PM
Bipolar 30 yrs. now 60 yo. Live greenville nc. Does nami here allow individuals with no. ,None. ,Support join. Do well, but could use community.

MAR, 01, 2015 07:48:20 PM
Lynn Owens
It's good to be in touch with families of family with mental illness. My sister has a mental illness and I love her very much and want the best for her. I'm working long distance currently to get her medical help and to enable her to move on with her life.

FEB, 28, 2015 10:56:41 PM
Judy Lilly
Cannot express the discouragement, desperation & anger over my Granddaughter's mental illness. The system has failed her & we, her family. There is no help.

FEB, 28, 2015 07:49:00 PM
Gregorio Lozano III
Based on my clinical experience, the best approach to take in treating a newly diagnosed patient is to immediately address the stigma and to attempt to knock it down as much as possible. Second, education about mental illness. These two can be done by free, sponsored seminars consisting of guest speakers who struggle with mental illness so that these new families can notice all around them that they are not the only ones, and that it's not their fault.

FEB, 27, 2015 04:29:44 PM
Any help is appreciated.

FEB, 27, 2015 03:40:52 PM
Alice Mercado
It truly feels like a never ending and never winning battle. Four of my immediate family members live with mental illness and it is truly exhausting. Most important thing to remember, is to take it one minute at a time.

FEB, 27, 2015 03:07:43 PM
Daniel Hammock
My son's mental illness became apparent to our family that "something" was wrong in December 2000, while he was attending college at Sam Houston State University, Tx. With help from NAMI, my wife and I have a better understanding of his illness, etc... Nevertheless, after fifteen years of fighting the fight, we are beaten down; physically, mentally and financially depleted. Now at retirement age we still have a schizophrenic son in our home 24/7 with little hope for his recovery or even a meaningful retirement life for my wife and I. Since his illness was diagnosed while in college, as an adult his benefits (if you can call it that) are based on HIS earnings record (not mine). He continues to be extremely resistant to treatment or accept responsibility for anything. It is disheartening and utterly frustrating for all involved that there is not a reasonable, meaningful path forward. Words are cheap, mental health officials and clergymen always defer to mental health avenues that go NOWHERE for a long term solution. Face it, the biggest hurdle is resources including money and it doesn't help that our son is still in denial. We live in fear that we are doomed to become a "Breaking News" headline. Need I say more?

FEB, 26, 2015 06:03:23 PM
Liz Hurley
Thank you!

FEB, 26, 2015 06:02:48 PM
Liz Hurley
Is this presentation on PPS? Or a local station like OPB in Oregon? I wish these wonderful presentations were more accessible to the public. It seems unless folks are faced with a first-hand experience, they don't quite understand how devastating this illness can be. Cancer and Alzheimer's get a lot of press. I'd like to see more on Mental Illness.

FEB, 26, 2015 02:19:04 PM
This man is unbelievable! I watched him and everything he said was dead on! He knows what he is talking about! What I want to know is why this dam mental health system cannot acknowledge the pain our citizens are living with and why people get turned away when asking for help? I am pursuing my BAS in Human services with a focus on adolescents with these issues and working with inmates. I hope that I can make some kind of difference based on this wonderful man's concepts! I know that I am getting a wonderful education now and learning lots on these issues but as he said, much needs to be done when it comes to the clinicians' area. Many times their hands are tied and ethical areas are hit, which lead us to the "HIPPA" factor. Things need to change in order to save lives!

FEB, 26, 2015 11:23:56 AM
What about family's fight with legal rent seeking entities that can manipulate and drug a mentally ill dementia patient that they have created " faux legal pending criminal probate charges against" into a locked unit of a rest home that denies standard medical care and oversees an early demise in a living hell with the legal administration of FDA black boxed anti psychotic drugs and zero profolatic medical care. Autopsy's are NOW not even performed on these so called end of life dementia patients in rest homes and the so called HIPAA protected abused elder's estates are used to protect the fiduciaries that feed off this broken paid for so called capitalistic guradiansystem. Watch out baby boomers your love ones will be left off on the side of the street watching you die an early horrid death using your money to fight your family, worse these cases are mostly always SEALED to protect WHO???? Those that steal and hide behind the HIPAA rights of elders. PUBLIC SCREUTINY IS NEEDED VIA FAMILY'S RIGHTS for public review, you might catch a lot of bad lawyers and a few bad judges!

FEB, 26, 2015 10:19:55 AM
Maxine B. Cunningham
Excellent. I will bookmark this so that I can listen again and share with others. I did not know that I could take Family to Family more than once.

FEB, 26, 2015 09:12:15 AM
Toni Delaney
Dr. Sederer's talk is an EXCELLENT TOOL that could be used for anyone new to to the maze of mental illness. In a very clear & concise format, he offers clear steps that individuals can take to assist them in gathering the information and resources they will need to manage a very challenging situation. As a NAMI member, Family-to-Family (F2F) Teacher, & trained Clinician, the material he provides in this short video would be invaluable to someone waiting for a F2F class to start.

FEB, 26, 2015 07:38:21 AM
As both a mental health clinician and one who has loved ones with mental illness, I am so grateful to have come across this post. Dr. Sederer's talk was enlightening and helpful in shedding light on the many resources NAMI holds for those with mental illness and their families. His 4 tips are spot on.

FEB, 26, 2015 02:16:27 AM
I struggled with bipolar 1 for about 30 years before diagnosis, and then nearly 30 years while trying to find a correct medication. While this sounds hopeless, it is not for a correct medication was found and I feel amazingly stable. It is necessary to have help and support. Nobody needs additional issues from fighting for sure, and now that I can believe I have bipolar instead of being wildly crazy inside I am accepting the diagnosis and the fact that I really can live well in the long run with medication and support. I'm happy to be alive.

FEB, 26, 2015 01:35:57 AM
Pamela in Canada
I am grateful to NAMI for this presentation, and for all of their wonderful work. Although we don't have NAMI in Canada, we can still learn from the NAMI website. My son has experienced mental illness for many years, since he was just seven years old in Grade Two! He is now almost 17, and the struggles continue. I have relied heavily on various excellent resources on the Internet, which have both provided me with vital information and helped me feel less isolated in caring for a seriously ill family member. Thank you to NAMI!

FEB, 25, 2015 11:41:54 PM
My son is very smart, he speaks 2 foreign languages, finished college, and he is very handsome. He has a mental illness. All of his accomplishments, and we only hear mental illness. He doesn't think he's ill.

FEB, 25, 2015 10:45:21 PM
Thank you!! The video was especially helpful, especially the part on how to bend the mental health system rules.

FEB, 25, 2015 08:39:07 PM
bernadette jackson
need help son was severely depressed and hospitalized for 3 months during which he had suicide attempts now living with me

FEB, 25, 2015 08:14:16 PM
Sally Anderson
It's extremely hard. I have a 22yr old daughter currently in hospital going on two months. Doctor n staff is having an extremely difficult time with her.
I feel so empty and like such a failure because I don't know how to help her. I just want to be Able to talk with someone that understands and won't judge us. I feel so alone.
Sadly Anderson

FEB, 25, 2015 07:05:33 PM
It is a nightmare I can't seem to awaken from. My daughter is ill and she uses my grandchildren as a pawn. When she feels well she allows me to see them, when she isn't, i am not allowed. It has been 10 plus years of hell and no one in my family wants to get involved to help

FEB, 25, 2015 06:49:54 PM
Gary Worth
Psychiatrists are the only doctors I know that don't have to be held responsible for how they treat their patients. An example. My son (36) has schizophrenia. He needs to take medication to keep it under control. To get his medication he has to GO to his psychiatrist every month. He often won't go. We, his parents, are not allowed to pick up his medication. When I call the psychiatrist to tell her she needs to find a way to get him his medication, she says no. She won't get out of her chair. I tell her you are treating someone with a mental condition that makes it nearly impossible for them to get their medication, and you have no method in place for getting medication to them? She feels no responsibility. Here is a doctor that has no idea about the disease they are treating or how to treat it because she is mystified about how the disease affects the behavior of the patient? And her specialty is psychiatry? She CHOSE this field? And she cannot treat or heal. And it's not just this current doctor. I have faced this same problem with numerous so-called physicians for 15 years. And this is just one aspect. There are so many. I cringe every time a so-called Doctor tells my son to stop smoking. Because when he does stop smoking, he craves street drugs, goes off medication and becomes psychotic. It happens every time. And yet the doctors continue to suggest this without any support mechanism to deal with the side effects of what they are suggesting he do. The same happens when they suggest he try a job or going to AA meetings. Pretty much they don't seem to understand the very nature of the disease they are treating. Expecting mental patients to find and take medication with no support system is the same as not treating them at all. You might as well just send them out into the streets. In 15 years, not one doctor has offered our family anything practical to help our son have a better life. Nothing at all. So this advice above -- 'don't go it alone.' Really? Who is there to help? Don't get into fights. Really? Have you ever lived with a schizophrenic? They are paranoid. They pick fights constantly because of perceived threats. It is a daily thing if you live with them. Daily. No relief. Don't get into fights? Are you kidding me? Learn how the system works. What system? Here's the system - the hospital for mentally ill people is the jail/prison (it is the ONLY place they will definitely get medication). The housing project for them is the streets (there is absolutely NO place for them to live with the sort of daily assistance they require -- not a single place). Bottom line -- no one cares about the mentally ill (unless they starting shooting people in public and then they execute them). They just want them out of sight. No resources are put into this at all. My son gets $600 SSI a month -- just about the same amount he pays in cigarette, cola and beer taxes to the government to self medicate. It's a full circle and the government breaks even -- it's investment only making the health problem worse. There's no hope of ways for him to learn to work or use his talents, or to have a place to live with any measure of independence and dignity. So when I see talks or books, it means nothing to me. There is no help for families dealing with mental illness no matter how you try to twist the system.

FEB, 25, 2015 06:48:24 PM
Carol Lightfine
My daughter was hospitalized for the umpteenth time last night. It is so difficult to watch someone you love suffer so severely.

FEB, 25, 2015 06:44:29 PM
Ruth Burkholder
My adult daughter has schitzophrenia bad. She was hallucinating just about 24/7. No meds, was drinking. Not much choices out there if you don't want to kick them out and watch them be homeless.

FEB, 25, 2015 06:16:03 PM
Guadalupe Sanxhez
I totally agree....i was afraid to attend a family wedding in
Mexico....fearing the worst...i control my son medication....who is 24
it was stressful.....he is doing better.....7 yrs now....but I always feel like I am walking on eggshells

FEB, 25, 2015 12:00:28 PM
Susan Inman
Very helpful that Dr. Sederer leads people to NAMI's superb Family to Family course. When I took the course 13 years ago, it was transformational for me. I'm retaking it now and can appreciate its information and wisdom from a new perspective. It's a relief to witness the many desperate and confused family members in the class receiving what they need.

FEB, 24, 2015 11:50:07 AM
Ella Smolenski
Dr. Lloyd Sederer's presentation was excellent! I give him A+, as a Family to Family Co-teacher!
Special thanks to NAMI Massachusetts for posting his presentation!

FEB, 24, 2015 09:29:37 AM
Anybody that lives with depression will tell you - IT'S A DAILY BATTLE. It takes away even the smallest pleasures in life, and we wear a smile but nobody knows the truth below. Don't resort to chemicals that harm your body. Battle it naturally. You're not alone.

FEB, 23, 2015 09:36:27 PM
Daniel Corral Jr
Yes it very hard to love someone with a mental illness. My girlfriend has a mental illness and she always breaking up with me when she ill.

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